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Hulkbuster. Photo: Film Frame. ©Marvel Studios 2018

Russo Brothers Say Avengers: Infinity War & Avengers 4 Are Two Distinct Films

Don’t expect Avengers: Infinity War to end with a cliffhanger that won’t be answered until the still untitled Avengers 4 hits theaters in May of 2019. This is great news.

For while, especially when the two films were titled Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Infinity War Part Two, it made sense of think of them as one giant story. First, you had the fact that the second film was titled Part Two. Second, you knew that the Russo Brothers shot them back-to-back, over the course of roughly a year beginning in January of 2016 and ending 12 months later, suggesting narrative continuity. Third, you knew that these films were the coda to Marvel’s Phase 3, and represented a massive, all-hands-on-deck cinematic experience that would usher in a new era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So you figured, we figured, that the two movies were really one massive story that would begin when Infinity War premieres on April 27, and end when Avengers 4 bowed on May 3, 2019. Thankfully this isn’t the case.

We find it much more exciting that the Russo Brothers have confirmed that Infinity War and the untitled Avengers 4 (they lost the Infinity War Part Two title a while ago) are actually two distinct films, each with a proper beginning, middle and end. They realized this had to be the case once they got to work in earnest and saw just how different the stories were going to be.

In a new interview with Yahoo! Movies UKthey sibling directors say that Infinity War, which is told from the perspective of Thanos (Josh Brolin), the biggest, baddest Marvel villain of all them all (to date), is very much its own story:

“It’s a complete story,” Joe Russo told Yahoo!. “It’s got a beginning, middle and an end and the next movie has a beginning, middle and an end, in the same way that Civil War handed off to Infinity War and Infinity War will hand off to the next movie. It’s serialized storytelling without question, so there is going to be a correlation, narratively, but we really wanted to make two distinct movies. We weren’t interested in making one long film and getting out the scissors and cutting the scissors and cutting it in half. We don’t find that a satisfying cinematic experience so this is a complete story, that’s a complete story, and they’re very different movies.”

This is very good news. Films that rely on cliffhangers, something superhero movies do to a disproportionate degree, might be great for whetting appetites for what comes next, but drain the film of its specific, singular narrative intensity. It’s exciting to think that when you go to see Infinity War, you’re seeing a movie that was designed to have a satisfying—if heartbreaking—conclusion. It’ll only ratchet the tension up that more knowing that when the film ends, this particular story is over.

Note how Joe Russo doesn’t even hint at what that “next movie” is going to be titled—in fact, the Russos say that fans expecting to find out the title for Avengers 4 in a post-credits scene in Infinity War can stop hoping—that the title reveal will be coming later.

“We need people to see this movie, digest this movie, and then we can tell them what the next story is they’re going to see,” Joe Russo said.

We’re in the final stretch before Infinity War bows on April 27, and yet there’s still so much we don’t know about the film. It was only yesterday we learned that the great Carrie Coon has a major role in the film, playing Black Order villain Proxima Midnight.

What we do know is Infinity War is going to be epic, and while its guaranteed to break box office records (perhaps even some just set by Black Panther), the film’s legacy will come down to how satisfyingly it tells its own specific story, one in which the fate of the universe hangs in the balance.

No pressure.

Featured image: Marvel Studios’ AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. Hulkbuster. Photo: Film Frame. ©Marvel Studios 2018

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